Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsNatural Selection
IN THE NEWS

Natural Selection

FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Natural Selection," an intriguing and intelligent first effort from indie filmmaker Robbie Pickering, digs deep into the heart of Texas for its soulful tale of small town saints and sinners and a road trip to redemption. Laced with humor and regret, the film rests on a finely textured performance by Rachael Harris, a prolific character actress especially memorable as the harpy of a fiancée perpetually haranguing Ed Helms in "The Hangover. " Here she's dialed it down to a bare whisper for the 40ish Linda White, whose quiet life of desperation is about to be dissected.
ARTICLES BY DATE
SCIENCE
November 30, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Richard Dawkins was enjoying a coffee at the Mondrian Hotel when a star-struck waiter interrupted him to thank him for his work. It was the kind of thing that happens a lot at the swanky West Hollywood hot spot - but usually to showbiz celebrities, not biologists. Dawkins is used to the adulation. The British intellectual has become a celebrity thanks to his books on evolution - including "The Selfish Gene," written in 1976 - and his vocal atheism, expressed in works like "The God Delusion," published in 2006.
Advertisement
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 2012
'Natural Selection' MPAA rating: R for sexual content, language, brief graphic nudity, a beating and some drug material Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Playing: At Nuart Theatre, West Los Angeles
OPINION
August 1, 2013
Re "Is racial prejudice hard-wired?," Opinion, July 28 Neuroscientist Robert M. Sapolsky hits the nail on the head. Racial prejudice is rooted in behavioral characteristics and neural wiring that are the product of natural selection. Quickly sensing potential danger in one's environment, with other humans forming the major part of that environment, had survival value for our ancestors. We also quickly create categories of things and people and assign values to them. Humans are "groupists" by nature: Our ancestors formed group associations to survive.
SCIENCE
May 3, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
If natural selection means that only the fittest individuals survive to pass their genes on to the next generation, then selfless behavior should not exist. Yet dolphins are known to support their injured brethren, and some species of monkeys will scream to warn others of danger, even though doing so makes them an easier target. Biologists have a theory to explain such altruistic behavior: Animals will help one another if they have strong genetic ties, since doing so preserves genes they have in common.
MAGAZINE
May 19, 1991 | ROBIN TUCKER
When it comes to body-care products, the word natural means something different to everyone. To some, it means no animal testing. To others, it means no chemicals. But what the word doesn't mean any longer is dreary, malodorous or difficult to find. A whole array of luxurious yet environmentally conscious products for the face, skin and hair is surfacing in specialty boutiques throughout Southern California.
NEWS
January 21, 1985 | CAROLYN SEE
Sexual Choice: A Woman's Decision by Heather Trexler Remoff Ph.D. (Dutton/Lewis: $15.95) All right, all you gentlemen who incessantly ask what it is that women want, and all you sore losers who come home from first, second, 15th dates with a score of zero, here's a book that could help you out. Heather Trexler Remoff is more than just a jolly sex therapist. She's an anthropologist with a heavy interest in evolutionary biology.
OPINION
October 18, 2011 | By Robert H. Frank
With good reason, most contemporary economists regard Adam Smith as the founder of their discipline. But I would instead accord that honor to Charles Darwin, the pioneering naturalist. Although Darwin had no formal training in economics, he studied the works of early economists carefully, and the plants and animals that were his focus were embroiled in competitive struggles much like the ones we see in the marketplace. His observations forged an understanding of competition that is subtly but profoundly different from Smith's.
SCIENCE
May 3, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
For a sand tiger shark embryo, the uterine experience is not so much "safe and nurturing" as it is "Hunger Games" arena. In each of a pregnant sand tiger shark's two uteri, several egg sacs are fertilized, but only one baby emerges -- a 3-foot-long cannibalistic victor who has killed and devoured its siblings. What the embryos experience in the womb is really less like a battle and more of a race. The first embryo to break free of its egg sack and start killing and eating its siblings will be the one who eventually gets to swim out of mom. PHOTOS: Weird sea creatures, strange fish This intrauterine behavior has fascinated scientists for more than 30 years, but a new study, published in Biology Letters, sheds more light on how it affects the reproductive success of males in the species.
NEWS
December 20, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel
Why are our hands the shape that they are? Compared with those of other apes, the thumb is longer and the palms and fingers are short. Scientist have  a variety of ideas as to why they evolved to be that way: --The comparatively longer thumb allows us so much more dexterity, permitting us to make tools. --The proportions of the hand may be the indirect consequence of natural selection for a foot with a long toe, so handy for keeping balance while walking. (Hand and foot development occur along very similar lines, and many of the same molecules are involved.
NEWS
August 24, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
A study this week reported that older men pass on more new mutations to their offspring than do younger men, a fact that could help explain higher rates of disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and others in kids born of older fathers. The same week, another article by the same group calculated that the mutation rate in fathers doubles between age 20 and age 58. Why fathers more than mothers? Because many of these mistakes happen as cells divide, and as we get older the rate of errors rises.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Natural Selection," an intriguing and intelligent first effort from indie filmmaker Robbie Pickering, digs deep into the heart of Texas for its soulful tale of small town saints and sinners and a road trip to redemption. Laced with humor and regret, the film rests on a finely textured performance by Rachael Harris, a prolific character actress especially memorable as the harpy of a fiancée perpetually haranguing Ed Helms in "The Hangover. " Here she's dialed it down to a bare whisper for the 40ish Linda White, whose quiet life of desperation is about to be dissected.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 2012
'Natural Selection' MPAA rating: R for sexual content, language, brief graphic nudity, a beating and some drug material Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Playing: At Nuart Theatre, West Los Angeles
NEWS
April 17, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
If you were to travel anywhere in the globe -- even to visit remote tribes who have scant contact with the larger world -- would people be able to read your emotions from your facial expressions (happiness, sadness, disgust, etc.) and would you be able to read theirs? In other words, do people smile when they're happy, wrinkle their noses when disgusted, the world over? Scientists have long thought so, but authors of a new study challenge the idea. Charles Darwin argued in “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” that basic facial expressions are universal -- implying that are hard-wired within us, the product of natural selection.
SCIENCE
April 12, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
The weapon may not make the man, but it certainly makes him loom larger, according to a new study by a team of UCLA researchers. Their study, released Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE, shows that a person holding a gun seems taller and more muscular in the viewer's mind than a person holding a tool or other object. The paper, funded by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, is part of a larger project to understand human decision-making in potentially violent situations.
OPINION
April 1, 2012 | By Lawrence M. Krauss
The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere we look, it appears that the world was designed so that we could flourish. The position of the Earth around the sun, the presence of organic materials and water and a warm climate - all make life on our planet possible. Yet, with perhaps 100 billion solar systems in our galaxy alone, with ubiquitous water, carbon and hydrogen, it isn't surprising that these conditions would arise somewhere.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|